Saturate the World: A Review of Jeff Vanderstelt’s new book Saturate

How do we make disciples?

This question should be at the center of everything that a church does. How do we live out the great commission that Jesus gave us? The strategy for many is to get people into the church building so that they can be taught. We want them in discipleship classes, Sunday schools, Sunday services, and sometimes Sunday night services. Before I go on, I should admit that there’s nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. I am a full time pastor, and I teach some of these kinds of classes. The problem is that by themselves, they fall short. The heart of discipleship is teaching people to be like Jesus and doing this in a classroom alone means that we don’t have the chance to show people how to live. People hear us speaking, but don’t get to see us live it. That’s why life on life discipleship is important, and to do really be able to do that we have to be like Jesus all the time. Our lives need to be saturated with Jesus and his gospel. Continue reading

A Disciple’s Task

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Recently I’ve written about a Disciple’s schedule, work, and home. It seems appropriate to add this book review to the discussion of what a disciple looks like. Make, Mature, Multiply is a new book from Gospel Centered Discipleship. If you’re not familiar with GCD you should definitely spend some time on their sight and check out some of the books they have published, this is a great resource for anyone who wants to stay focused on the Gospel and focus on making disciples.

When Jesus left he gave his disciples a task. He told them to go and make disciples. At the heart of this book is that call and what it means to live it out. From the title of the book, you know the three focuses of the book. We are to make, mature, and multiply disciples. Continue reading

Stop telling people about Christianity

speaking-cover-lgWhat do we share with people when we share our faith with them? In his book Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism, Carl Medearis argues that more often than not we are telling people about Christianity and not Jesus. At first it sounds a bit crazy that you could do this.  How can someone tell about Christianity and not tell people about Jesus? Donald Miller proved that this is possible in his book Searching For God Knows What when he shared the Gospel with a group of Christian college students and left one thing out. He asked them what he left out, and they didn’t know. He left out Jesus. It’s possible to talk about our faith and forget the most important person. So often, we tell people about sin, the origin of the world, we present logical arguments for the existence of God and the supernatural, we may even tell them that Christianity offers freedom from sin and eternal life, but we can fail to introduce them to the person of Jesus Christ.
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Mission on the Go

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For most of us, it feels like we are on the go all the time. We live “on the go.” We’re going to work, going to school, going out to eat, going to the store. We’re always going. Going places requires intention and effort, but most of the time it seems like we’re just busy. On the other hand, when we are told to “go”, it’s a directive, a command to head somewhere for a reason and with a purpose. It’s a small word, but it can carry a great deal of weight.

“Go” finds itself in a crucial spot in Jesus’ last directive to his disciples. Jesus told them, “Go and make disciples” (Mt. 28:18-20) By saying this, He gives us a directive and the way to accomplish it. Making disciples is the critical command in this verse, but to do it we have to go. Jesus is sending us on a mission. We are to head out with purpose and intent to make disciples. It’s not an aimless wandering that accomplishes the task of making disciples. Dr. Ciampa of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary puts it like this, “it is a prerequisite, a necessary step towards the goal of making disciples of the nations and we must be intentional, deliberate, about going everywhere and leading all peoples to (willingly) obey the Lord Jesus Christ” (full article here).
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